Happy Birthday Rev. James Cleveland
James Edward Cleveland (December 5, 1931 – February 9, 1991) was an American gospel singer, musician, and composer. Known as the King of Gospel, Cleveland was a driving force behind the creation of the modern gospel sound by incorporating traditional black gospel, soul, pop, and jazz in arrangements for mass choirs. Throughout his career, Cleveland appeared on hundreds of recordings and earned four Grammy Awards. He was the first gospel musician to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1984. For his trailblazing accomplishments, he is regarded by many as one of the greatest gospel singers who ever lived. His best known recordings include "Lord, Help Me to Hold Out", "Peace Be Still", "I Don't Feel No Ways Tired", “Where Is Your Faith", "The Love of God", "God Has Smiled on Me", and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me."
On February 9, 1991, James Cleveland died in Culver City, California. He was 59. Some reports list the cause of death as congestive heart failure stating that the singer had fallen into a coma shortly before his death. Over 8,000 people gathered for his funeral service at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. He is interred at Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.[